By: Noeleen Dix, Netball Australia President
A Commonwealth Games gold medal isn’t won in the final.
It doesn’t take 60 minutes; it doesn’t take 11 days of competition; nor does it take 12 players and a coach.
To be crowned Commonwealth Games champions takes years of planning, an army of support and tireless hours of hard work, dedication and determination by the athletes, support staff and administrators.
The journey towards a gold medal begins with the right athlete pathways from underage championships through to Netball Australia’s Centre of Excellence, Australian Netball League, ANZ Championship and Australian Diamonds.
It takes knowledgeable, passionate, and at times patient, coaches along the High Performance pathway to develop our athletes with the right skills, attitudes and behaviours into world class elite athletes.
The support the athletes receive off the court from team managers, performance analysts, physiotherapists, soft tissue therapists, strength and conditioning coaches, nutritionists, psychologists and administrators complements the work done on the court.
It also takes the support of the Australian Commonwealth Games Association, Australian Sports Commission, Netball Australia, Member Organisations, local State Institutes and State Academies of Sports and Corporate and Government partnerships.
No stone has been left unturned in preparation as coach Lisa Alexander and her team look to end the twelve long and agonising years drought since we last won a Commonwealth Games gold medal.
The Commonwealth Games is incredibly important to netball.
The Games provides a unique opportunity for our athletes to experience an international multi-sport event, mix with some of the world’s greatest athletes and showcase our sport to an international audience that may only see it once every four years.
The class of 2014 join an exclusive club with only 33 of the 161 Australian players having worn the green and gold at previous Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur (1998), Manchester (2002), Melbourne (2006) or Delhi (2010).
When Australia takes the court in our opening game of the Commonwealth Games against Wales on Thursday 24 July, we ask that you join us in taking a moment to acknowledge everyone that has played a part in putting this team on court.
I’m full of confidence knowing that we’ve got the world’s best fans, coaches, support staff and administrators behind our gold medal preparation.
Good luck to Lisa, Laura and the team – bring home the Gold.
Netball Australia, President